It is with sadness we announce the passing of James Lee Horton, Jr., aged 79, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who passed away peacefully on November 17, 2023, at his home with his beloved wife, Suzanne, by his side. Jim was born into a military family and spent his youth moving to many locations including Japan. He graduated from Burns Flat High School, OK, before attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a degree in engineering. It was there he met his future wife, Suzanne. Immediately upon graduation, Jim was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. His 20-year military career took him to many exciting assignments culminating in his senior position at the Pentagon until his retirement in 1987 as Lieutenant Colonel. Jim’s next career opportunities were in the defense and aerospace industry. He relocated to Mississippi to be a program manager for the Advanced Solid Rocket Booster for the Space Shuttle. He then found his way to Baton Rouge, then back to the Pentagon as a civilian contractor. After surviving the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, he decided it was time to come home to Baton Rouge. He served as VP for Marketing and Business Development for several local engineering firms.
Jim’s earlier hobbies and interests included running 10K races throughout the US (including Hawaii), racquetball, skiing, and camping. His patriotism and duty to service involved him in many community activities and organizations; some of which included Jaycees, Rotary, and Presidential Classroom. His later focus was on travel and collecting fine wines and spending quality time with family and friends.
Jim is survived by wife Suzanne Holden Horton; children, Penny Diaz and Silke Sitte; grandchildren, Ferran, Johanna, Felix, and Sophie; and great-grandchildren, Marla, Lotte, and Ellie. He is also survived by his brother, Charles “Chuck” Horton; as well as numerous cousins and nieces.
A funeral service will be held at Resthaven Funeral Home on November 30, 2023, at 11:00 AM with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Scotlandville High School Engineering Program, Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, or the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
James Lee Horton, Jr. will be dearly missed by all who knew him, but his legacy will live on through his family, friends, and colleagues.